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Wheel and Tire Care Products - Keep Them Clean And Shiny

Wheel And Tire Care Products

Calin Head
Nov 1, 2005
Photographers: The Manufacturers
Photo 2/45   |   sport Truck Car Care gold Truck
We hope you have read through and enjoyed Gary's War-and-Peace wheel and tire guide in its entirety and are fully educated on what rubbers and rounds are currently available via the aftermarket. Since taking care of these great-looking wheels is an important part of vehicle maintenance, we compiled a group of products to keep your wheels shiny and clean, so you don't have to search the aisles of your local parts store, scratching your head wondering, "What's right for me?" We have also thrown in a couple of tips on how to use these products and which wheel finish each product is appropriate for.
What Do I Use?
If you have factory cast or billet aluminum wheels that have a clearcoat, use:
Almost any wheel cleaner will work but look for the "clearcoat safe" on the bottle label, just to be sure.
If you have cast or billet wheels with no coating, use:
A polish designed specifically for aluminum wheels that will remove oxidation.
If you have anodized, painted, or have no idea what finish your wheels have, use:
A soap and water mixture. If it's safe enough for your truck's paint, it will be safe enough for your wheels. If you want to use a safe-for-all-wheels-type cleaner, test a small area first to make sure it won't damage your finish.
How Do I Use It?
If the wheels are chrome or clearcoated, let them cool before applying any product. Working one corner at a time, spray the cleaner from the bottom to the top (to prevent runs). Use a brush to get into all the nooks and crannies, then rinse and dry. Do not apply your tire dressing yet. If you have aluminum wheels with no clearcoat, then break out the polish and get to rubbing. One cool tip we have learned is to put on surgical gloves and use them to polish the wheel, instead of using a rag. It works great, so try it, but be sure to apply the polish in a back and forth motion with moderate pressure until the oxidation is gone and there is a black residue. Apply the polish to the rim and rub until you have a black residue, then buff that off with a soft rag. If you are lucky enough to have a chrome-plated rim, then you can use a chrome polish to remove any crud, but most of the time, a glass cleaner will do the trick.
For your tires, use a nylon brush to scrub old dressing out of all the letters and tread on the sidewall. Some companies even make a tire-specific cleaner, but whatever you decide, don't dunk the tire brush in the wash bucket. You don't want the residue getting on your wash mitt and scratching the clearcoat on your nice paintjob when you give your truck a bath. Tire dressing comes in liquids, foams, and gels. It's all about personal taste in what you want to use, so just read the label to determine what product fits your needs. Use an applicator to apply the dressing to your tires to prevent any of it from getting on your freshly polished wheels. If you like wet-looking tires, then apply your dressing and let it soak in. If you like a satin finish, come back and wipe off the excess with a rag.
Photo 3/45   |   sport Truck Car Care adams Metal Polish
Adams Polishes
Adam's Metal Polish 1 is designed for stainless, brass, billet, chrome, and nickel. The liquid formula does not scratch and is safe to use on delicate metals. Follow with Adam's Metal Polish 2 for additional shine and maintenance. Adam's Vinyl, Rubber, and Tire (VRT) contains no silicone or alcohol and still provides U.V. protection. The thick cream applies easily with a sponge and doesn't leave a greasy film. The Flitz polishing and buffing ball is great at saving your arms from the rigors of polishing aluminum. Made to use with a drill motor with a maximum of 2,000 rpm, it is reusable and machine washable.
For more information, contact: Adam's Polishes INC.
(866) 965-0400,
Photo 7/45   |   sport Truck Car Care armor All Tire Foam
Armor All
Armor All's Tire Foam Protectant's foaming action cleans tires in minutes, without wiping, and leaves tires with a deep-black wet look. The formula also penetrates tires to protect against the elements that crack and fade sidewalls. If you like the satin finish, you can go back and wipe off the excess once the product is done foaming.
For more information, contact: Armor All
Photo 8/45   |   sport Truck Car Care auto Optics Tire And Trim Detailer
Auto Optics
Formulated with 100-percent synthetic polymers, Tire and Trim Detailer provides gloss enhancement and protection without the assistance of solvent-based chemicals, used as fillers. This product cleans, leaves a long-lasting shine, and provides UVA/UVB protection.
For more information, contact: Auto Optics
(970) 669-7992,
Photo 9/45   |   sport Truck Car Care black Magic Brush
Black Magic
Black Magic offers a complete line of products to keep the rubbers black and the rims sparkling. The company offers wheel wipes much like a baby wipe, but these are embedded with the proper chemicals to remove brake dust or for quick touch-ups. They have just about every type of dressing you can imagine, including foam, gel, and spray, to produce the wet look they are known for. They also carry a full line of brushes specifically designed for wheel and tire care.
For more information, contact: Black Magic
(800) 416-1600,
Eagle One
In addition to the company's paint surface care products, Eagle One also offers a massive line of tire and wheel products to fit your needs. Cleaners for all wheels, from chrome to billet and dressing from the wet look down to the satin finish are available. The company also carries Never-Dull, which is a cotton material impregnated with polish for a no-hassle application. The company's tire swipes work great, last a long time, and are a must in your detailing kit, unless you like having greasy fingers.
For more information, contact: Eagle One
(800) 432-4531,
Photo 23/45   |   sport Truck Car Care wheel Smoothing And Buffing Kit
The Wheel Smoothing and Buffing Kit from The Eastwood Company supplies the materials and detailed instructions needed to refinish four wheels or more at roughly the cost of having just one wheel professionally re-finished. Each kit includes materials to smooth pits and scratches and achieve a mirror shine. Eastwood also carries a complete line of tools to power the buffs.
For more information, contact: The Eastwood Co.
(800) 345-1178,
Photo 24/45   |   sport Truck Car Care dressing Stuf Product
Dressing Stuf
Dressing Stuf leaves a nice, rich satin finish on tires that won't rub off. It's thick enough to resist slinging off and helps reduce damage from UV exposure. It can also be applied to vinyl, plastic, and leather surfaces.
For more information, contact: Stuf Products
(626) 792-9560,
Photo 25/45   |   sport Truck Car Care meguiars Care Products
Meguiar's also has an extensive line of care products to fit everyone's tastes, and if you like the tires wet-looking, try the Insane Shine. If you are going for a natural look, then try the Tire Cleaner. Meguiar's also offers a safe-for-all-wheels cleaner and an array of tools to help you get in the tight areas behind your spinners.
For more information, contact: Meguiar's
(800) 347-5700,
Photo 26/45   |   sport Truck Car Care heavy Metal Polishes
Heavy Metal
The 3 Formula Liquid Metal Polishes and treated cotton from Heavy Metal give you three options on your road to shineville. The company offers coarse, medium, and ultra-fine abrasive polishes or treated cotton for use on all types of metal. The Heavy Metal Rubber & Vinyl Dressing will clean and protect rubber, vinyl, leather, and plastic surfaces. It is non-toxic, non-greasy, and leaves a long-lasting protective barrier against drying, fading, and cracking. The company's water-based formula leaves an anti-static, non-oily, satin finish that won't attract dust or fling off of your tires.
For more information, contact: Heavy Metal
(800) 529-9400,
Photo 27/45   |   sport Truck Car Care long Haul Tire Seal And Shine
Long Haul
Long Haul Tire Seal & Shine brings out the black and seals out the grime with no silicone, which means no staining, no greasy residue, and no regrets. It features a spray it, wipe it, and your done application, and if you like it really shiny, don't wipe it off.
For more information, contact: Long Haul Truck Appearance Products
Luster Lace
Luster Pad Metal Polish is surgical cotton wadding that carries the metal polish inside and is recommended to clean flat objects. The chrome polish is a non-abrasive polish and protectant specially formulated to bring a brilliant shine to chrome and other fine metal surfaces, while the Luster Seal is a polish and sealant in one.
For more information, contact: Luster Lace
(800) 291-5223,
Photo 31/45   |   sport Truck Car Care michelin Wheel And Tire Products
Michelin has introduced the first wheel and tire care products on the market to be developed for and approved by a leading tire manufacturer. The Michelin Wheel & Tire Care Program includes Michelin Wheel & Tire Cleaner, Michelin 3-in-1 Tire Shine, and Michelin Brake Dust Repellent. When used together on a regular basis, these products not only clean and protect your wheels and tires but also increase time necessary between washing while making future cleanups easier.
For more information, contact: Michelin Branded Products
(800) 251-3122,
Photo 32/45   |   sport Truck Car Care mothers Wheel Mist
By now, you should know that if it has to do with car care and cleaning, you can trust your Mother's. The company has three different product lines, including Reflections, FX, and the standard Mother's, to cater to every type of clean freak. One of Mother's newest and coolest products has to be the Powerball. We tested this sucker out in our Aug. '05 issue and now all we do is fight for it. Chuck this sucker in a drill motor, dab on some of the Power Metal Polish, and watch the shine come through, without the black fingers.
For more information, contact: Mothers Polish
(800) 221-8257,
Photo 40/45   |   sport Truck Car Care mr Buffer Metal Polish
Mr. Buffer
Mr. Buffer prides itself on being an all-in-one polish for aluminum, chrome, silver, gold, brass, copper, steel, pewter, pressed aluminum (diamond-plate aluminum), and most metals. Mr. Buffer contains no acids, citrus, ammonia, or other caustic materials.
For more information, contact: Mr. Buffer
More Shine Less Time for Tires (MSLT) from Stoner is a long-lasting, spray-on coating that will give you that brand-new look in seconds. This easy-to-use aerosol needs no wiping, won't harm wheels or paint, and gives UV protection. Apply one coat for a dull satin finish or two coats for high gloss. We have found for quick touch-ups on your rims, try Stoners Invisible Glass. It works great and will cut through brake dust.
For more information, contact: Stoner
(800) 227-5538,
Photo 43/45   |   sport Truck Car Care wicked Products
Great White Protectant from Wicked is formulated to protect against the premature aging of vinyl, plastic, leather, and rubber. When used regularly, a protective shield will form that will help to protect against the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays, smog, and other pollutants that can crack or rot surfaces. To brighten up the wheels lurking within the tires, use the Alumag Chrome Polish, and for quick touch-ups, break out the Myst Metal. If you need to polish aluminum, stainless steel, chrome, brass, copper, and all other fine metals, try the Metal Polish.
For more information, contact: Wicked
(800) 276-5474,
Unless you have been in a cave somewhere, you have to know about Westley's Bleche-wite. This stuff will bring your whitewalls back to white or put the black back in your black. The company also offers a no-touch tire dressing to add some shine to your freshly cleaned tires.
For more information, contact: Westley's
(800) 844-1080,


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